March 11, 2013
SMG Works with Home Builders Association of Louisville on Land Development Issues
POSTED BYDaniel Hardin, P.E.
The Homebuilder Association of Louisville held their monthly meeting for the Land Development Committee on March 6, 2013. Dan Hardin with Smith Management Group attended. The meeting included discussion primarily for three issues:
1) Subdivision Committee review of the Conservation Subdivision Regulation as part of the Land Development Code Review Process, which included a discussion from the Tree Canopy Meeting. Subdivision representation included Floyds Fork residents. Also, the City of Louisville has a Tree Advisory Board and their opinion is that no trees should be removed during subdivision development. A “no net loss” of trees is simply unattainable for developers unless they happen to be developing an open field, which is an unlikely scenario for Jefferson County. Representation of the Tree Board from the developer side is very limited and the feedback from the HBAL members that attended the meeting is that opinions from private residents are more numerous.
2) Update on sidewalk access and the narrow requirement to position cross-slopes at no greater than 2% to meet requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The back-and-forth discussion on this issue has been constant for each meeting since the summer of 2011. Because some developers have limited access for sidewalk installation (particularly commercial development) they are installed sidewalks with 0% cross-slopes so that they aren’t forced to have them torn out and replaced at a later date. However, flat sidewalks create an additional slip hazard because the ability to drain stormwater is greatly reduced.
3) HBAL leadership is disappointed and upset with a recent internal policy decision of the Health Department regarding Subdivision Plans. After construction is complete the Health Department is preparing a memo that ranks subdivision sections on the “healthiness” with subjective opinions on proximity to greenspace, parks, limited fast food restaurants, libraries, schools, etc. The memo is placed in the file and would be readable by anyone performing a city open records request. Reportedly, the HBAL had this very discussion two years prior from which the decision was made that these memos would be internal documents only, not available to the public, and stored in a special folder. HBAL is in contact with the Health Department to remind them of their meeting results from two years ago.
The meeting minutes from February’s meeting included a writeup on MSD’s Green Infrastructure ordinance. According to David Johnson with MSD, the ordinance will become a policy which would allow MSD to make changes to it with Board approval rather than bringing it to Metro Council. The MS4 permit requirements currently include post-construction treatment of the first 0.6-inches of rainfall. The proposed design policy may include the availability of funding for projects within the I-264 area so that additional stormwater volume can be kept out of the combined sewer system.